BOARD BOOKS : My Favorite Color by Aaron Becker, Paper Peek Animals by Chihiro Takeuchi, & This is a Book of Shapes by Kenneth Kraegel

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People always ask for your favorite color. But who said you can only have one? Open this gorgeous board book to find an ode to ever-changing colors, offering a spectrum of hues evoking the sun, the sea, clouds, and dew-dappled fruit. In colorful grids of small squares--some translucent inserts, some painted on the page--Aaron Becker uses layering to make colors shift and transition from spread to mesmerizing spread. As fun to look at as an alluring paint-chip display and as inspiring as an artful concept book can be, My Favorite Color promises to be a favorite, well-thumbed read and a prized art object in itself.
This is a hard book to describe.  It's full of die-cuts, translucent squares of various colors, and incredible layering that causes the colors to shift and change.  Indeed, Becker makes it difficult to decide what one's favorite color is as the colored squares change color. Lovely shades of blues and pinks and yellows present the reader with lots of colors to consider.  A unique and creative take on a concept book.  The book is sure to be enjoyed not only by young listeners but by older readers as well. 
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With intricate cut-paper artwork and enticing die cuts, this search-and-find book highlights animals across the globe.

Head to Africa, with its bountiful wildlife. Can you spot one lion, two giraffes, four zebras, and more among the teeming herds? When visiting South America, do you see one sloth, three toucans, and five armadillos? How about two tigers in Asia, three emperor penguins in Antarctica, five wolves in Europe, and other creatures in Oceania, North America, and the wide oceans? Featuring hundreds of small graphic animal shapes forming dizzying patterns, this colorful, stylish board book promises hours of engagement and a world of discovery and delight on every page.
This remarkable board book shares with readers animals from every continent.  Starting with a die cut of an animal from the chosen continent, the reader can see a page of animals peeking through the die cut.  On the back of the die cut page, there is a list of animals for readers to find on the next page.  All of the animals depicted come from the chosen continent.  Each continent is covered along with the oceans.  A map at the end shows where each of the animals is found.  Not only is the book a fun way to learn about animals around the world, but it's a great searching activity as well.  The book would make an enjoyable one-on-one activity as well.
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First comes the circle. Then the square and the triangle. Then the . . . emu pushing a pancake wagon down a hill? What begins as a concept book about everyone’s geometric favorites soon defies expectations with a series of funny and imaginative twists. Award-winning author-illustrator Kenneth Kraegel pairs a deadpan text with simple wood-grained shapes, interspersed with vibrant illustrations of animals engaged in hilariously absurd pastimes. Each page turn builds on the delicious anticipation the contrast creates to make this a unique and rollicking story-time hit.
This book begins like many other books about shapes, then takes a rather unusual turn by introducing an emu pushing a wagon full of pancakes down a hill.  This doesn't seem to have anything to do with circles, squares, and rectangles and neither does the porpoise reading jokes and the rhinoceros skateboarding with a jet pack.  But Kraegel does manage to relate these things to each other by the end.  An amusing take on the concept of shapes, this book is bound to provide both learning and laughter for those who read it. 


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